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1348 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE MODERN WORLD.

of his fellows. Each member on assuming the

garb of a Knight must be girt with a linen

cord in token that he was henceforth bound

to service.

The organization of the Templars embraced four classes of members-knights,

squires, servitors, and priests. Each had

their peculiar duties and obligations. The

presiding officer of the Order was called

the Master-afterwards the Grand Master-

and he had as his assistants a lieutenant, a

seneschal, a marshal, and a treasurer, all of

whom were elected by the chapter. The

states of Christendom were divided into

provinces, and over each was set a provincial master. The Grand Master of Jerusalem was regarded as the head of the entire

brotherhood, which soon grew in numbers,

influence, and wealth to be one of the most

powerful organizations in the world. Counts,

dukes, princes, and even kings, eagerly

sought the honor which was everywhere conceded to the red cross and white mantle of

the Templar.

In course of time the Knights of the

Temple became a sovereign body, owing

no allegiance to any secular potentate. In

spiritual matters the Pope was still regarded

as supreme, but in all other affairs the Grand

Master was as independent as the greatest

sovereign of Europe. The houses of the

Knights could not be invaded by any civil

officer. Their churches and cemeteries were

exempt from interdicts; their properties and

revenues from taxation. So great were the

communities thus enjoyed that thousands

of persons sought to be affiliated with the

brotherhood in order to share its benefits.

Every thing conspired to make the Knights

the favorites of the century. They had

the prestige of Crusaders. They had St.

Bernard for their Master. They had the

blessing of the Pope. They had the applause and gratitude of those whom they

had relieved and protected. They had estates

and castles and churches. They had the patronage of the great and the benediction of

the Church.

It was the peculiarity of mediaeval institutions that beginning in virtuous poverty they ended in luxury and crime. As

early as the middle of the twelfth century

the membership of the Templars was recruited largely from the class of adventurers and outlaws with whom Europe so greatly

abounded. St. Bernard himself declared

in a series of exhortations addressed to

the Order that the greater number of the

nobles who had joined the soldiers of the

Temple had been men stained with every

species of crime, the oppressors and scourges

of Europe.

In the division of the Christian states into

provinces by the Order of the Red Cross, three

were formed in,the East-Jerusalem, Antioch,

and Tripoli. In the West the provinces numbered sixteen-France, Auvergne, Normandy,

Aquitaine, Poitou, Provence, England, Germany, Upper and Lower Italy, Apulia, Sicily,

Portugal, Castile, Leon, and Aragon. Of all